Lunatic's Serenade

Seeking out the truth:
Interview with Greg Shaw

Truth Corroded are making waves of late on the bludgeoning metal scene in Australia. Formed in 2005, the band has recorded three albums, steadily building upon an extensive touring schedule on the International stage, touring with heavy hitters like In Flames, Arch Enemy, Lamb of God and Behemoth just to name a few.

Recently they signed to AFM Records and unleashed The Saviors Slain at the tail-end of 2013. The record is a total onslaught of death/thrash, clocking in at 50 minutes and sounding brutal as ever. Just after one listen, you can tell the band is ready to tear it up and dominant the extreme metal scene. 2014 is definitely going to be their year, so HMS took some time out to chat with bassist Greg Shaw to get the full scoop from the band.

HMS: So, you guys have a unique sound by combining Thrash/Death metal, so who are your major influences in both genres?

Greg Shaw: For the original members, Jason (vocals) and myself, our main influences are late 80's and early 90's thrash and death metal. Bands such as Dark Angel, Testament, Slayer, Vio-Lence, Forbidden, Exhorder, Sepultura, Obituary and Malevolent Creation are the key bands that inspired us to do a band and continue to be an influence. Later other key influences came along such as Neurosis and Cult of Luna. Those bands have a place in what we aim for. In recent years bands such as Decapitated, Misery Index, Lamb of God, Behemoth and The Black Dahlia Murder have been influential also, as well as some black metal. These influences taken together have a part in shaping our sound.

HMS: After releasing “Worship the Bled” you guys did a lot of touring. How was that experience for you?

Greg Shaw: The creative process changed with a big membership change. Following the completion of Worship the Bled, the bands founding member Mark Lennard, left the band. It was amicable, and due to an ongoing physical injury that was impacting his ability to play. However Mark was the key song-writer and we always worked together on writing our albums. So it was challenging in that regard. But Wayne who replaced Mark was very considerate in writing riffs that maintained the integrity of the bands distinct sound. It was challenging working with a new writer, as I have always and only ever been in a band with Mark, but just as much, it was cool having a new take on our sound and Wayne was great to work with. The end result is an album that continues to maintain the bands direction from its previous two albums while also bringing some growth and a new element to the TC sound.

It was immense. As a band we had never toured as much for an album or as extensively. Following the release of WTB in early 2011, we toured Japan (tragically it was only weeks after the tsunami and during the Fukushima crisis) and South East Asia and then in Europe in 2012. We toured alongside bands such as Fear Factory, Malevolent Creation, Krisiun, Vital Remains, Origin, Forbidden, Warbringer, Municipal Waste, Thy Art Is Murder, Psycroptic and The Amenta both in Australia and overseas.

We met some incredible people, had some incredible experiences, and drank far too much beer and Jager! We were detained by police in London as suspected terrorists, got drunk at first unknowingly with Yakuza in Tokyo and saw an attractive female teenage Siamese twin in Prague. It was awesome, but non-stop. So much so, it was not until late 2012 that we stopped touring and fully concentrated on writing and recording the new album.

HMS: Is the band planning a North American tour anytime soon?

Greg Shaw: We are working on it and I am currently talking to an agent to get something locked in for later in the year. The U.S has always been really positive toward the band in the coverage we have received, so we really look forward to coming over as much as we can.

"We met some incredible people, had some incredible experiences..."

HMS: How would you compare the Heavy Metal scene in Australia to some of the other places you've toured?

Greg Shaw: Europe was a huge eye opener for us. The size of the crowds and diversity of the crowd was incredible, and very different to Australia. The support we received as a relatively unknown band opening for such well respected and established bands was really cool; it actually made it difficult returning to Australia where the crowds are small, and does not come close to what we experienced in Europe. We have been fortunate to have toured Asia extensively and in particular were the first ever Australian heavy music act to tour China. That was an incredible experience; the crowds were intense, packed out and full of great energy. We supported Behemoth in Beijing and played to one of the most full on crowds we have ever experienced in Guangzhou. Japan has always been incredible, the energy and respect is incomparable, really great place to play. In Australia metal at a local level does not draw the size crowds or the energy of what we have experienced overseas. Hopefully it will change.

HMS: Australia has been an emerging spot for heavy metal for a while; are there any bands from Australia that had an influence on you?

Greg Shaw: For us there is one band that is unfortunately not as well-known as they should have been, The Wolves. Had they stayed together and gained an audience outside Australia they would have been huge. They were incredible live and had a thrash sound that had the attack of Slayer. A big influence on us and the song “I Misery” on our album is a tribute to their influence on us. There are some awesome bands in Australia at the moment that should be heard, such as Kyzer Soze, Aeon of Horus and Hadal Maw just to name a few.

HMS: The cover to “The Saviours Slain” is pretty brutal, what do you think the overall reaction from people is when they see something like that?

Greg Shaw: It is confronting, but there is more of a message in the depiction and the album title beyond the initial impact of the image. I hope it will provoke thought and maybe invite the viewer or listener to look further into what the band is about. The art on our last album was also striking and invited some to question what it sought to communicate, but the message is there and as with this album it is challenging. We are a confronting, go for the throat thrash/death band. Our lyrics and message is also confronting, and to communicate what the band represents, the artwork is equally confronting and completes the overall identity of what the band represents.

HMS: Now that the new record is out, what does Truth Corroded have in store for the future?

Greg Shaw: We have an upcoming tour in Asia in April/May and will be playing Taiwan and South Korea for the first time ever. We will be returning to Japan and China, so really looking forward to it. As part of the tour we will be supporting The Black Dahlia Murder, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Dew Scented in Taiwan and Japan. Following the Asia tour we are looking to get to Europe and the U.S later in the year. A video clip is looking likely for As a River They Bled but will depend on scheduling as to when it will come out. Anticipating a full on 12 to 18 months ahead. Cheers for the interview!

For further info, check out the band’s website.

Dave Edwards, HMS

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